The father of Sara Sharif claimed his daughter’s death was an accident, the 10-year-old’s grandfather has said.
The 10-year-old Sara’s body had been found by officers at her home in Hammond Road, Woking, in the early hours on 10 August.
Detectives widened the timescale of their investigation after the post-mortem revealed that Sara had suffered multiple and extensive injuries, likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time.
An investigation called Operation Unison, led by Surrey Police and Sussex Police’s Major Crime Team, was launched to establish the circumstances of Sara’s death and this remains ongoing.
In an interview with the BBC, Muhammad Sharif – the father of Urfan Sharif, Sara’s dad – said he saw his son after he arrived in Pakistan.
“It was an accident, he didn’t tell me how it happened,” said Muhammad, and that Urfan had left the UK out of fear.
Post-mortem tests have found Sara sustained “multiple and extensive injuries”.
Pakistan police have been hunting for Urfan, his partner and his brother for weeks but have failed to find them.
UK police want to speak to the three family members in relation to their murder investigation – but the trio left the UK for Pakistan on 9 August, the day before Sara’s body was found in Woking, Surrey.
Speaking to the BBC, Muhammad confirmed that he did see his son in Pakistan when Urfan came to Jhelum, the city he was raised in and where many of his family still live.
When asked why Urfan came to Pakistan if the death was an accident, Muhammad replied: “Because of fear.
“His daughter died and when you go under so much trauma, obviously you can’t think properly.”
Asked how he felt about his son travelling to Pakistan, Mr Sharif said: “All I can say is that they should have faced the case. They should have stayed there and faced it instead (of coming to Pakistan).”
He said: “They will ultimately go back to the UK and face their case.”
Muhammad was visibly upset speaking about Sara.
“I have a deep sorrow that my granddaughter passed. The grief will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
He said she had visited Pakistan twice. “Everything about her was so beautiful. You cannot single out one thing, she was a very lovely granddaughter.”
He had a direct message for his son, Urfan, his partner Beinash Batool and his brother Faisal Malik. They left the UK on 9 August and police want to speak to all three in relation to the murder investigation.
“Wherever they are, they will be able to listen to this. I say they should come out, defend their case, whatever it is. They should answer the questions. I don’t say they should stay in hiding.”
The family are thought by Pakistan police to have landed in Islamabad international airport early on 10 August, travelled to the city of Jhelum where they stayed for a few days, stopping for a few hours in the village of Domeli and leaving on 13 August.
Muhammad denies that he has been in touch with Urfan recently. The police told the BBC that the family initially said Urfan had not been to see them at all. Muhammad said that this was not correct, that he never denied seeing his UK-based son.